Arquiste Nanban – Perfume Review

Arquiste Nanban is based on a Japanese Galleon in 1618, filled with the finest spices, leather, coffee.

Arquiste Nanban

Wow.  I mean the end.  I’m a sucker for a great coffee fragrance, and this is that and so much more.

Notes include Malabar black pepper, Persian saffron, black tea accord, Chinese osmanthus, coffee absolute, Spanish leather, myrrh, frankincense, styrax, sandalwood, copaiba balsam, cade.

A gorgeous osmanthus and coffee announce themselves when you spray on Arquiste Nanban, and then it just starts smoking with tea and spices on a slow simmer.  I mean, much as I love coffee, a smoking osmanthus has a charm that’s pretty hard to ignore.

The tea and the incense with balsams are amazingly restrained in some way – this isn’t full-on hit you over the head with that powerhouse list of notes above – but it never seems to hold back. Is the spices and leather you smell from another room or when that galleon rolled into the harbor and was unloaded. It is all of that at a distance, but in no way diminished.

Love is an understatement for how I feel about this one. If this is our open into the fall perfume season, then yeah!  A great unisex scent that is amazing to put on now or when the fall weather really settles in.  It had great lasting power the three times I’ve worn it, so expect it to make itself at home and stay put for a good visit.

Winners of the Arquiste Nanban samples from last post are – grizzlesnort and imapirate007 (OMG, I love your name!).  Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog, send me your name and address and remind me what you’ve won.  I’ll send you a quick “got it” e-mail so you know it didn’t drop into my spam filter and then get it sent to you.

Listen, you guys really wanted to win this sample, so I’m going to do another draw to give away another 3 samples of this. It’s really special and one I think will find a lot of love for a many years.  Just drop a comment to be entered.  Tell me what you’ve got planned for this fall.  My mom is coming to visit in a couple of weeks.  She told me she has never been to the top of Pike’s Peak. How has she been visiting Denver – with my dad’s sister’s family for decades and then me for the last 30 years – and not ever made the summit?  We are getting train tickets to the top.  I’ve been up there twice, and no way am I driving to the top again, I get all white knuckled and scary driving that.  You?


  • Krystina says:

    While I’m sitting on my leather couch and drinking in orange hues of fall landscape, I shouldn’t imagine my autumn any other way than in a bulky sweater with a hot chocolate in my hand watching old episodes of Downton Abbey. It’s my ABSOLUTE favorite time of year and it is so wonderful to hear of this beautiful fall-favored fragrance!!!

  • Donna Brockman says:

    Hi! So glad I found this site…I’m a perfume nut, and this one sounds like it has all the things I love: coffee, leather, spices, pepper. Would be thrilled to get a sample.
    I have a new French Bulldog puppy (Laverne) so my plan for fall is to raise her up and love her as much as I can!

  • Rincoglionita says:

    Nanban sounds divine.

    I’m going to Pikes Peak in October, too. Part of my mini honeymoon – because I’m getting married near there in three weeks!

  • Colleen says:

    Wow, that perfume sounds lovely! For fall, I have a few weddings to attend (it’s that time of year). So I’ll be flying around and catching up with family, which is always nice. Cheers!

  • mim666 says:

    Nanban sounds perfect for fall – please enter me in the draw! No big plans for me; gonna keep visiting the farmers’ markets around here, get outside and enjoy it, wear perfume every day, make progress, get older…

  • Nemo says:

    I haven’t tried many coffee fragrances, and coffee plus osmanthus? I can’t even image (but I like the coffee+floral idea in general. This fall I am going to try to be less neurotic and stop worrying about worrying all the time 🙂

  • springpansy says:

    Nanban sounds wonderful – please enter me in the draw! I’ve got lots going on this fall. Potentially a new job, remodeling, and a special celebration for my mom who turns 90 in mid-October, then later a weekend in Sonoma wine-tasting with friends. Have fun with your mom!

  • TheLunarWhale says:

    Wow, Nanban sounds amazing. This fall I’m going to apply to graduate school and do my best to make the most of the first semester of my senior year in college.

  • Jackie b says:

    Happy Equinox to everybody, I have a birthday coming up, so perhaps a BBQ to enjoy the warmer days. I would love to try Nanban. Perhaps not for work…my boss’s name is Nan, what if she asked me what I was wearing!

  • Recovering Perfectionist says:

    Nanban sounds amazing! Crossing my fingers here.

    I don’t have any exciting white-knuckle driving stories, but I will share that I am the rare soul who can get carsick while driving. It’s only happened a couple of time, on the twisty mountain roads of California, but it was a real pain, esp. since I was the only one in the car, so the only option was to take a break and then keep going.

  • Tyler Rose says:

    My plan for fall is to find a new perfume and Nanban sounds like a contender. Love the backstory, love the notes.

  • Sapphire says:

    Nanban sounds intriguing. Thanks for the drawing!

  • Maureen says:

    I have no coffee like fragrances, but this sounds really nice. I would love to try it. I hate the taste of coffee, but like the way it smells.

    I have no vacation time to take one, as I was sick this summer and used up all of my vacation time. I may get down the shore for a weekend, fingers crossed, before it gets cold.

  • Ellen says:

    This sounds absolutely wonderful and with all the notes I love. Nothing planned for the fall except to enjoy less humidity. Thanks for the draw.

  • Gwenyth says:

    My daughter lives in Denver. We’ve been lucky to have hiked in the Flatirons over by Boulder, in Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park, etc., but we’ve not been to Pike’s Peak yet.

    This Fall we will travel to Denver again in October. In November, The Hubs and I have planned a trip for the week of Thanksgiving because we will have none of our children home that week. It will be very strange to be without our children for that special holiday, but things change and we must adapt, right?

    Nanban sounds amazing!

    • springpansy says:

      Gwyneth, right there with you. Two years ago was our first year without children. DH wanted me to make all the usual dishes, so I did (I love to cook) but then I cried through the whole dinner and we decided not to do the completely traditional thing again without family around. If no one can come, we have people over or go somewhere else. Your trip is a good idea!! But, yes, I am adapting!

      • Gwenyth says:

        Wow…springpansy….that sound’s like something I’d do (cook the “whole shebang” because I love the cooking and preparation, but then I’d cry, too) It sounds as you are adapting and making it work. 🙂

  • Lynley says:

    It’s spring here, so I plan to be gardening and going for walks and laying in the sunshine with a good book, and creating meals with all the wonderful spring produce. But the evenings are still cold enough to try delightful sounding new releases like Nanban. Please count me in 🙂 thanks!

  • Mary K says:

    I plan to keep visiting the farmers’ markets around here this fall, as long as they all have veggies and other good things and are open.

  • I love Arquiste! Would be super interested to try Nandan, and since it doesn’t seem available yet anywhere else, I’d love to win it here. My plan for the fall is to finish my current book not tooooo far past deadline, and maybe visit a friend in Chicago.

  • SamanthaL says:

    This sounds so delicious…I’d love to win this one! My plans for Fall are to host a huge Halloween party and to just revel in the time of year that makes me so happy. The leaves on the tree in my front yard have started turning and it’s getting just a little chilly, I love it!

  • foxbins says:

    This fall I’m replacing a fence section and a gate in the back yard, and playing tour guide to some friends from California. Nanban sounds wonderful, I don’t think I have ever smelled anything with a coffee note.

  • Angie says:

    No plans for the fall except studying. I’m in my second to last semester of nursing school. I wish I had plans, so for relaxation Ill probably bake fall goodies and watch Netflix when I have time! Thanks for the draw 🙂

  • Audrey says:

    Thank you for the giveaway! I will be going to Arizona in a few weeks, hopefully it will be cooler!

  • thegoddessrena says:

    This scent sounds fascinating. Am hoping to get down to NY in a couple of weeks– I want to see the full lunar eclipse over the Manhattan skyline

  • rosarita313 says:

    Yay, count me in, Nanban makes my mouth water from the description. I’ve had a busy summer and fall is so beautiful here in the Midwest that I’m glad I have no special plans.

  • Lemoncake says:

    Nanban sounds perfect for fall. No big plans for me…other than some work travel. I’m making an attempt to really enjoy every day of fall….my favorite season.

  • Dina C. says:

    Nanban sounds like a great smelling oriental. I’d love to win a sample. I’m planning on going on a ladies retreat in the fall to Pennsylvania Dutch country. Otherwise, I’ll be home busy with some volunteer and sewing projects.

  • Marcy Singer says:

    That perfume sounds so intriguing. I am going to LA for a week with my best friend from high school (we graduated in ’79), to drive around, eat delicious food, visit the Gentle Barn, see a Kings game, and laugh a lot. Thanks for the chance to win a sample of this Arquiste Nanban.

  • caseymaureen says:

    We always visit Snowdonia in Wales in October and it is either stunning or very wet or both! However that pretty much sums up Autumn over here!
    Will make sure to try this intriguing fragrance next time I’m in London, unless I’m lucky here….

  • Neva says:

    I am waiting for an eye operation so no long term plans before that one is over. Afterwards I’d like to travel to the States to visit my daughter who is working as an intern in South Carolina. I miss her a lot.
    I’d really like to try Nanban after I’ve read so many positive reviews. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • This fall is the end of an era for me, as I sell my beloved Caffe La Boheme where we serve the finest espresso in the San Juan Islands!
    But….it’s time. Time to slow down and smell the edp’s. I love the fall, and am so looking forward to Noir Exquis by L’Artisan, Ruh by Turkish perfumer Pekji, and some others I’ve had on my list for quite some time!

  • sunnlitt says:

    I have no plans to travel.
    I just started a new job at a fabric and crafts store. So, I see some sewing in my future.
    Thankfully, thankfully, it’s a part-time job.
    Thanks for the drawing-the scent sounds amazing.

  • Marianna says:

    Please sign me up for the drawing – this sounds really good and I am a sucker for coffee notes.
    I don’t really have much planned for the fall – the start-up I working for is going through tight times (they just laid off 20% of workforce + all contractors) so feels like it is a good time to start looking

  • Gigi says:

    Seem to be hearing about this one a lot…and it sounds unique and I must try it one way or nother.

    My fall plans are to creep outside my comfort zone, and try some classes, not for work or career but just for me. Checking into Pilates and pottery!

  • greennote2 says:

    No big plans. This sounds utterly amazing.

  • Maya says:

    I am not sure if Nanban is for me but I mentioned it to my daughter and she says it sounds “wonderful”, so that’s probably where it would go should I win one. I remember Pike’s Peak. My boyfriend and I (a long time ago) got lost in Colorado while driving to CA. We ended up on Pike’s Peak. 🙂 He was fearless and he was driving so I was fine and I got to go there!

  • carlene says:

    This Fall … I’ll be making lots of art for upcoming fall shows, and drawing portraits of peoples’ dogs (I have the best “job” in the world.)

  • SS says:

    I’ve been on the hunt for a dark tea perfume, but now I realize I should also be looking out for coffee since I also like the smell.
    Going to stay inside and study and apply to graduate schools – and of course smell perfumes.

  • Heidi says:

    The Nanban sounds freaking amazing — I want a sample so I can dab it on liberally and lie on plush cushions in a perfume-induced stupor.

    This fall, I’m traveling a lot to do readings to support a book that came out in March and a new book that’s coming out this month — I don’t usually like traveling so much, but I’m going to get to see friends I haven’t seen in a long while, so I’m kinda looking forward to it.

  • Ncmyers says:

    Nanban sounds amazing! I love Architects Club and Fleur de Louis, excited for this one. Just booked a couple of retreat days at my favorite place in the country – no people, no hassles for two whole days!! Thanks for the draw!

  • Lisa D says:

    Count me in. The notes are surprising – usually out of a long list, I’ll see three notes that I love, three I could do without, with the rest falling squarely in meh-land. In this one, though, I know and love all but two of the notes, and those two I’m not familiar with (styrax and cade).

    Can’t think about fall and the future right now – one of my little furballs is in the hospital, critically ill, and all I can think about is her getting better and coming back home. Send my Zoink some positive energy!

  • elisa p says:

    Nothing exciting planned for Fall yet. My mother in LA is home on hospice so I’ve been going back and forth and I’ll be happy to just have a predictable life again and maybe take the vacation we had to cancel this summer.
    The fragrance sounds intriguing and I’d love to sample it. I haven’t tried many scents with coffee yet although I love the smell(By Kilian Intoxicated, TF Cafe Rose, and the Montale). So much more to explore in the world of perfume…

  • There is so much horrendously crap perfume around these days, even in niche, that anything that sounds as though it might smell even vaguely appealing is wonderful. I adore L’Artisan Eau Du Navigateur for its gentle coffee and incense accord, and have found Arquiste scents so far to be intriguing, dignified and pleasing. I hope it comes to Tokyo soon.

  • Stephanie N says:

    In looking forward to a late fall trip to Mexico! And, finally getting started on rehabbing some old furniture that has been waiting for a refresh for way too long.

  • mikasminion says:

    Not much planned here for fall. I have GOT to rid myself of at least one of these kittens before I become so attached we keep all four, so I may make a several-state car trip to dump one on a cousin. I’ve already bonded enough that I’m not adopting any out to strangers, no matter how nice they seem. Some other cousins are visiting for hunting season at the end of October and I was planning on foisting a feline on them too but the other three furballs are really digging into our lives, so they may be spared.
    Thank you for offering another chance at a sample. I completely forgot to post my comment last time 🙁 I have been becoming more and more interested in Nanban. At first I just wanted to try it because if the name, then the odd notes, now the glowing reviews. Please, count me in to the draw!

    • mikasminion says:

      Well, never mind entering me. I apparently added a sample to my last perfume order. I see it listed, big as daylight. Guess I was in an impulse-shopping zone, because I see several things on my receipt that I don’t actually remember deciding on.

  • Victoria says:

    This fragrance sounds wonderful! Lovely post. 🙂

  • tammy says:

    Other than a quick trip to New Orleans mid November, I don’t plan on stirring much this Fall. We’re on tap to have a gorgeous one in my area, and I plan on enjoying it thoroughly on my own 12 acres, which I’ve been planting with an eye towards Fall color. We might venture out for some leaf-peeping day trips, but I am collecting Fall-icious recipes and my husband is cutting firewood for the outdoor fireplace. I’ve already busted out Poivre and Nuit de Noel!

    Thanks for a chance to try this one, it sounds interesting.

  • Pam Gentry says:

    Well, we’re trying to sell the house. That’s what I’m doing this Fall! Moving to NC to be with family. The Nanban sounds wonderful. I am starting to bring out the cool-weather fragrances, but it will be awhile before we actually get FALL. Rather, we get an occasional hint.

  • Ann says:

    Hiya, Patty! That Nanban sounds amazing for fall — can’t wait to try it (of course, DNEM). But it’s so nice of you to give away several more samples of it.
    BTW, it’s so funny that you mentioned Pike’s Peak. When I was a little girl, my grandparents took me out West and this was one of our stops. We stayed overnight nearby and the next morning were going to ride the train to the top. But that evening when I was looking at the map/brochure and saw how steep it was, I prayed like crazy that it would rain the next day so we couldn’t go. You see, my 6- or 7-year-old mind thought the train’s ascents and declines would be really fast like a roller coaster and I was scared to death of those. Of course, when it became clear that wasn’t the case, we went and had a great time. Also went to Royal Gorge, Air Force Academy, etc. And I can still remember the taste of the Native American frybread we had at one of the villages. Oops, sorry to have let “Ann’s Childhood Adventure” go on so long there. 🙂

  • Nancysg says:

    In October I am going to the Carolina’s to see two of my daughters and their beautiful children. They both had baby girls this summer, so I can’t wait to see the babies again.